Mad Kate | the Tide

Mad Kate | the Tide

 Berlin, Berlin, DEU

Mad Kate (vocals text movement) and the Tide (guitar loops electronics) collaborate in a perpetual adventure pet that touches the multiplying ways we access music and performance. From electro-folk to Afro-noise to punk-word, they speak with an urgent voice as they explore the concept of ALIVE:ness.


Mad Kate—renowned performance artist, writer, dancer, and vocalist with a musical background in punk, soul, folk, house and rock n’ roll—has teamed up with The Tide—experimental guitarist and producer—to create the performance project of our times—multilayered, hyperlinked, interdisciplinary—and as much skilled performance as it is a pleasure to listen to.

Together, the Tide on guitar, loops, electronics and Mad Kate singing, speaking and screaming and moving—grace the stage and touch their audience as they practice ALIVEness: queering our self-understanding in a global context in order to be more effective activists and global citizens. Mad Kate | the Tide has had the honor of headlining the Gottingen Feminist Festival, supporting Peaches at the SlutWalk Soli party in Berlin and appearing with her in Normandie: Masculin/Feminin in November 2013, and sharing the night with Penny Arcade at the International Performance Art Festival in Copenhagen. They will release their conceptual album ALIVEness in October 2013, along with a book of experimental prose by the same name. Its dynamic range of music forms the backbone for Mad Kate’s conceptual performance art and movement—therefore it draws from multiple styles and musical influences, ranging from punk to folk to psychedelic to spoken word and leaves their audience breathless, agitated, provoked and consciously engaged.

Mad Kate is an American living and working in Berlin since 2004. She integrates her skills as a singer, mover, writer and conceptual artist, working in general with themes about sexuality, gender, sex positivism, and human rights. She was one of the members of the Queer X Tour that toured Europe in 2009, captured on film by Emilie Jouvet in the queer-feminist road documentary "Too Much Pussy" (also shown at the SXSW Film Festival in 2011).

Mad Kate has toured extensively around Europe, Russia and the United States as a solo artist, as well as supporting artist for several other projects and bands, including The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, Peaches, and DJ Hell. She is a dancer/mover in the electro-punk performance band BONAPARTE (SXSW in 2011) since 2008, and one of two front women in the punk cabaret band KAMIKAZE QUEENS (SXSW 2009) since 2006.

The Tide is the Sound behind the persona of Jacopo Bertacco. Born in Milan and currently living in Berlin, he is a musician, yoga instructor and artist open to experimentation and contamination between different languages. Since 2000 he has devoted himself to multimedia performances, film soundtracks, and worked with theatre, bands and live performance. A member of the legendary The League of Crafty Guitarists guitar ensemble, since 2007 he has played and performed with Robert Fripp & The League of Crafty Guitarists, touring Europe and North America.


Only One Person

Written By: Kathryn Fischer (Mad Kate)

You --
You’re only one person
But I can make a robot
To look like me
You --
You’re only one person
But I can make a robot
To look like me
And be me
then I can be two--
Or three

Overcome by possibility
I sit in the middle of this continuum
(choosing porn over a rape crisis center),
one small window into a million lives
multiple life partnerships
a trailer in a dyke commune
an academic’s life in London
singledom in Mexico City
on the land in the desert
gas station hustler’s life on the road to Budapest.
rape crisis center in Detroit,
punk squatter freegan in San Francisco with you.
Or staying as I am

slap in the face
impossible restriction of time
not all these lives can be truly lived by me.
Time is the limiting factor in the end,
And we must choose.
I’m grasping for the reason of being here,
And nowhere else
Even as I realize that this “radical circle”
is not at every front line.
The lives of farmers and shepherds,
some of them children,
taken by NATO drones.
Those lives go unaccounted for.
They are not “alive enough” for many of us to register.
We are not there,
standing next to them,
not alive enough to account
stand next to them, or,
in place of them.

This life, that one;
a peep show in Germany
juxtapose soldiers sent to Iraq
to potentially lose their lives.
sucking the cunt of a young queer liberated dyke;
we have made a space in this place,
temporarily unbothered by the wider web
if every life were really alive to us,
the depth of our mourning would be unending.

The Alive Valve

Written By: Kathryn Fischer (Mad Kate)

The dream I had the other night
Peeling off the layer of bubble plastic stuck
so Deep into my feet
so Deep I could see all the sinew
the muscle and tissue inside my body.

I stared so Deep inside my legs
Overcome by my own humanity.

I was staring up at the black plastic just
Hanging from the ceiling
Oh, with just an ALIVE valve at the bottom
An ocean was inside me.

Well, I'm just this plastic bag of fluid
with an ALIVE valve at the end.

Digital Age

Written By: Kathryn Fischer (Mad Kate)

Ain't no point in fighting
the digital age!
like saying why u drivin fools why take a plane
it's just a storm raging
ain't no stoppin the times
Naked god at glowing faces
not really knowing the particular places

staring at our phones at our pictures
--before we left em’
we might not even elect them
muddle up the end the future

huh huh

now to the next best human
connect to your neighbor in cyber space
it might not be physical,
your brother—the one you never call

imaging them on the edge of our future
the memories one more time
its not this place, the human race
its connected by my neighbor in cyberspace

there aint no point in fighting! (3x)
the digital age…..

naked god at glowing faces
not really knowing the particular places

look it up on facecrook try it for good
the Afghani you never LIKED
the world this way in time is traced
happening now in cyberspace

aint no point in fighting
the digital age

don’t fight it!

I Can Almost Remember Them All

Written By: Kathryn Fischer (Mad Kate)

At times I am sitting with my father silently. Today I was sitting with my father at lunch at the Clifton General Store, and I had a dark, dark thought; I had a dark thought about his death, which I cannot remember anymore. And it hardly matters, because there are always thoughts about his death, it could have been any one. I think, I thought today, for instance, perhaps it would be right if I discovered that he’d died on the riding lawn mower. Perhaps it would be right if he died today as he and I are working on the lawn. Because this is one of the things we enjoy most doing together.
It might be right if he just runs out of air driving in the pickup truck, because this is one of the things we enjoy most doing together, the hot sun on my legs and arms, my hair blond, me not wearing much makeup: the way my father likes me. Sweaty and dirty with lawn work. From wearing the gloves, from pulling at the Virginia creeper. From sweeping the back porch, from clearing the weeds with the wheelbarrow. From crawling back into the hiding spaces under trees, the magical crawl spaces of little girl time, my legs scraped and red with cuts, a tick on my neck perhaps; this is how my father likes me best. Capable, boyish, yet a girl. Perhaps it would be okay if today he died, because that would be right. But I do not tell him.
My father and I stay silent with each other quite a lot. I can almost remember everything he says, because he says so little. It is nice not to speak, sometimes, it is just right. Sometimes I just look into his blue eyes and smile at him. I don’t want to be too overbearing or treat him strangely now that he is dying.
Yesterday he asked me if there was anything that I wanted to know. I didn’t respond because it would break me into tears. He asked me if my eyes were watering because of my allergies. I waited what seemed like a very long time and he touched my arm. No, I told him finally, nothing that I can think of at this time.
An entire day went by, almost silent, just TV and computer and wordless rides in the car. Today I asked him, is there anything that you want to tell me?
At lunch at the Clifton General Store I had a dark dark thought about my father’s death; I cannot remember now what it was, but it could have been any, because I think these thoughts all the time, and I found myself holding back tears after looking at him straight in his blue eyes. He has not become more religious, and he still refuses to drink water. He does not rush to get acupuncture, and he still has not signed the paper that says, Do Not Resuscitate, even though he’s told us his wishes a million times: Do Not Resuscitate. He’s even yelled it, “I know this might be hard for you and mom but you have to respect my wishes!” Hearing Dad yell now in his inaudible voice is wrenching.
But he has not changed, he still doesn’t sign that paper.
This paper is just like all the things he has not done. They are too easy. My father explained today, when I told him that he should renovate the porch, he told me, but it’s so easy, just some wood needs to be replaced. But dad, I said, you cannot replace the wood. You cannot open a plastic bag anymore, your hands are too weak. And I cannot replace the wood; I don’t have the skill. Let’s hire someone, I say. But it’s so easy, he says. If it’s so easy, I say, why haven’t you done it, after all these years, why haven’t you done it? Why? And now you sit here dying.
I did not fight him, I cannot, but I was thinking to myself: Why was there green mold in the kitchen sink, why, when you came to the house week after week, didn’t you do the three dishes in the sink, why did you let them get moldy? Why haven’t you repaired the staircase, or the brick landing? Why did you let maggots grow in the garbage can, why are bugs crawling on the sill? I looked into his blue eyes. My father and I are like the jokes about Midwestern farmers; we don’t say much to each other, and when we do we think long and hard in between. So I let myself dream and think a little and we did not say all the things that are in our heads because we both know that we must disagree.
“These tasks are so easy I could do them any day, I could do them any day and now,” he trails off and looks down at his skinny legs and his oxygen tank. It makes a sucking sound when he breathes in and I have to remind him to leave it on. “And now … look at me, I can’t do it, I can’t do it any day.”
I do not know what my father knows. But what I think I know is that my father is preoccupied with one thing, proving the theory. The problem that is on all the notepads everywhere all over the house. I thought there was some organization to it, which is why I did not clean them, and then I realized. No, these papers are the paper without the correct answer on them. Lacking the answer. This one, that one, a paper that still does not prove the theory.
I had to hold back tears as I looked at him, because I was thinking about holding on to the mom

Bodies of Flesh, Bodies of Knowledge

Written By: Kathryn Fischer (Mad Kate)

Bodies of Flesh
Bodies of Knowledge
Practice – getting naked – having sex
Removal – Exposure – Vulnerability
Develop into toughness
Of femme solidarity

Bodies of Flesh
Bodies of Knowledge
Practice – getting naked – having sex
Wear our high heels like battles
But no makeup is also a mask
Flats are also a choice
These are superficial markers
When intimacy – love – is true vulnerability

What can we imagine
In Our minds eye
Can we claim a story
Which is not our own
Some call this appropriation
Because we are concerned with
We are all whores
We are all queer
Disempowered by our flesh

Can we not imagine
A story not our own?
We are all whores
We are all queer
Disempowered by our flesh

Bodies of Flesh
Bodies of Knowledge
Practice – getting naked – having sex
Removal – Exposure – Vulnerability
High heels is toughness
But love is the real intimacy

Porn Star
And the world will never look the same

And the world … the world
And the world ... the world
And the world … the world
will never
look the same!


Leather Jacket - self release single - December 2012

Leather Jacket Modernista RMX - Black Leather Records (Belgium) - January 2013

Combinatorics - EP + ebook self-released April 2013

will be ready - live at teufelsberg - Freudian Slit Records (Berlin) - July 2013

ALIVE:ness - LP/CD and eBook to be released in October 2013

Set List

Golden Voice
Digital Age
Exactitudes of our Passion
Only One Person
Bodies of Flesh, Bodies of Knowledge
Watchword Eyes
Dream About Dad